Some time ago, I was reading the story of Deborah & Barak, and the Israelite's battle against the Canaanites.
As I reviewed the story, how they immediately worshiped after the battle kept standing out to me. They worshipped in recognition that it was God who gave them the victory - I simply couldn't unsee it. God started bringing to mind how, time and time again, we see people in the Bible simply worshiping and praising God before, during and after battles (both literal and metaphorical ones).
All these people, who have become faith inspirations for many of us, all have something in common: they worshiped. See, this challenged me deeply.
Every time I've been going through a battle, it doesn't take much for me to go to God's Word and find hope and encouragement for my situation, which is great. Then, I usually pray about it, which is vital. Yet, simply withdrawing to my room and getting lost in worship is something I've seldom done in these times. Sure, I'll play worship music as I pray or even as I go about my day, but getting on my knees and just breaking out in song is something I'm not used to doing.
Well, right after reading it, I got up and started making myself some good ol' homemade pupusas. And just as I was pulling, squishing and shaping the flour, friends, it happened... I broke out in song.
Now, if you know me, you know I don't even like musicals because the idea of someone who is speaking suddenly bursting out singing is incredibly amusing to me (and after about three songs, extremely annoying). I know, I know...call me uncultured, "WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE MUSICALS!?", "It's because you haven't seen _____ yet!" - Yes, I probably am; no I don't; I probably won't, thank you very much.
Back to the matter at hand.
Well, on that one occasion, I got all Little Mermaid-y (you know the scene where Ursula is commanding her to "SING! SING!") and I started singing the most unlikely song ever (for me): This is how I fight my battles.
I'll be honest, the first time I heard this song, I didn't absolutely love it. I couldn't really understand what 'this' was and why we kept repeating it so much. But on that day, as I kept signing it, it started to click - and let's be honest, it's kinda bound to sink in when the song only has two verses you repeat over and over again.
THIS is how we fight our battles, how we are meant to face everyday, how we overcome the doubts and worries. We worship.
Of course singing is only one form of worship, but it is one that many of us easily disregard in our day to day; we reserve it for Sunday service, but our battles don't wait for Sunday.
Every day we face temptation, every day we face disappointment, every day we read or receive discouraging and worrying news. It logically follows then that every day we should worship, surrender ourselves, praise God and seek Him because, just like with Deborah & Barak, He is the One who gives us the victory. Yet, sometimes we don't.
I've shared multiple times in my social media that my biggest battle has been my health. I've been struggling with an autoimmune disease for the past few years.
During this battle I've done my research, I've changed some aspects of my diet, I've changed my footwear and some of my clothing. I've prayed, read God's Word, listened to messages and asked others to pray for me. I've journaled, read, rested and even changed jobs. In all this time though, guess how many times I've allowed myself to be 100% vulnerable with God and worship him unabashedly? I could count them with one hand. I'm not proud of it, but there you go.
Don't confuse this with not trusting God or not having an ineffable certainty that He can heal me. It is a case of not putting that faith in action and fighting the battle in a way that is profoundly rooted in Scripture. The Israelites worshiped when they crossed the Red Sea; Paul worshiped in Jail; and David, boy did David worship. It's that missing piece between believing something and laying down my pride as I surrender, and proclaim out loud who God is, what He's done, and what He's promised He will do.
The worship minister at my church put it in a brilliantly succinct way in a message she shared at one of our Young Adults events: worship in the wait. Whatever battles we're going through right now, I guarantee you waiting is at least half, if not more (or all) of it. Worshipping in that season helps us refocus on Him. As you wait for healing, a financial breakthrough, an answer, an immigration process, or even in the waiting season of singleness (right there with ya on that one), just worship. THAT is how we fight our battles.